UT Makes Final Push For Prop 1
By Era Sundar
With the election fast approaching, University of Texas officials are stepping up their public relations offensive on Proposition 1, which would raise property taxes to help pay for the new medical school UT plans to build.
Proposition 1 would increase the Central Health tax rate by five cents per $100 of property valuation to help pay for services and staffing for the proposed medical school. For the owner of a $200,000 home, it would cost an extra $100 a year. Some opponents of the proposition question the necessity of raising taxes to finance a project for a large, well-funded university. But UT President Bill Powers says the school does have resources, but much of the money is already spoken for.
“It’s simply not true that we have the money without taking it from other departments,” Powers said. “We’ve committed those resources to our history department, biomedical engineering department, nursing school and natural sciences. And those departments are critically important.”
The regents of the University of Texas system have committed $30 million a year to fund the medical school, and the Seton Hospital system has earmarked $250 million for building a new teaching hospital that would serve the medical school. Saint David’s Healthcare opposes the measure, saying tax money raised by Central Health should pay first for uncompensated health care delivered in emergency rooms.